Stand Up Paddle: Detroit in Winter

‘Hey, would you be down to SUP the Detroit River? It’s basically frozen.’ — Was the text to John a week before our flight. That night our extra baggage tickets were purchased for our inflatable Tahoe paddle boards, and the following week we made our way to Michigan.

It was 19 degrees and 7am as we pulled into Belle Isle for the first time. Calm water called to us, but we soon realized there was no place to launch into. With a will stronger than the thinning ice, we sat our boards on top of the ice and started chipping away using our paddles and weight to break ourselves our own path.


Huge thank you to Connor Gagne, for these amazing images of our paddle excursion in Detroit!

*It’s important to note that this trip was potentially dangerous and we do not recommend imitation. The safe choice would have been to buy/rent dry suits, booties and gloves, so we would have had proper equipment. Also, the Detroit River is known for its strong under current! While our photos look fun and adventurous, we actually paddled carefully, close to shore our entire time and took measures to not fall in. The Police Harbor Patrol were also within 200 meters of us at all times. 

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